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When In Rome…

by Courtney on July 27, 2012

Gotta love spending an afternoon with mom at the mall and topping it off with a trip to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch!

After doing a little bit of shopping (or “window” shopping, shall I say) we were both starving and decided to pop in for some food. Of course, we had to start off with some of their delicious bread.

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Seriously. The darker one? What is it, pumpernickel? Honey something? Good lord…all I know is that it’s amazing. And it was fresh and warm. YUM.

For my lunch, I ended up deciding on their Skinnylicious Chopped Salad.

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I’m a major fan of chopped salads, and this one definitely did not disappoint. It came with romaine, grilled chicken, avocado, tomatoes, corn, bacon, blue cheese, apples, and cilantro, and apart from there being just a tad too much blue cheese, this thing was faaaaantabulous.

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One of the things I love about chopped salads is that, somehow, they never end up needing all that much dressing. I got my vinaigrette on the side and barely needed to use any of it…it was flavorful enough on its own.

Of course, when in Rome… Winking smile

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Mom and I split a slice of Caramel Pecan Turtle Cheesecake – Pecan Brownie and Caramel-Fudge Swirl Cheesecake, Topped with Caramel Turtle Pecans and Chocolate – and, umm, yeah. InSANEly good.

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The two of us polished that thing off noooo problem.

After lunch, as we were heading back out to the cars, we ended up passing one of those kiosks in the middle of the mall…you know, the ones that are armed with workers that make a beeline for you as soon as you make eye contact?

Typically, I make sure to avoid those things like the plague and instead, indulge myself in some heavy conversation, start browsing through my purse like I’m searching for something, or look the complete opposite direction when passing them. But for some reason, we ended up getting drawn in today.

And then this happened.

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I’ve been needing a new flat iron for the longest time now, but just never bit the bullet and bought one. Since mom is a hairdresser, I kept giving her “the eye” as the lady was talking to us and explaining the product, just to see whether or not she was giving us any BS.

Turns out, the HerStyler brand is a pretty good product, and between it being on sale and my mom’s “hairdresser discount,” we got it down from $200 to $110.

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And it even came in purple so really, I was sold from that point on. Either that or after the lady ended up curling a few pieces of my hair. (FYI: Offer to curl/play/up-do my hair and we’ll be BFF’s for life).

I can’t wait to start playing with it and attempt to make some fun curls!

What’s everyone got on the agenda for the weekend? Jay and I had our softball game for tonight get cancelled so we may be spending the evening with some friends, followed by a possible out-of-state day trip tomorrow(!). Gotta knock another state off of our adventure map at some point this year! Winking smile

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alex @ Brain, Body, Because July 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm

I love chopped salads in the summer. You’re totally right – go easy on the dressing so you can really taste the flavor of the vegetables.
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2 Renee July 27, 2012 at 3:26 pm

I’ve never heard of that kind. I have a Chi now I love it… I remember biting the bullet for it…then my kids shut it in the bathroom door a week later and I cried. Good thing they had a return policy! They aren’t cheap but a good one is so much better for your hair.
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3 Michelle@Peachy Palate July 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm

The only reason I know about the Cheese Cake Factory is because of The Big Bang Theory!!!
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4 Sylvia @ Frolic Through Life July 27, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Love that show!
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5 Michelle@Peachy Palate July 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm

It’s so funny!
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6 amy July 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm

love chop salad, love that everything is cut so small that you can get a little bit of everything in a bite!
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7 Amanda @ Maggiano Takes Austin July 27, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Courtney!! My bf Scott opened the first Austin Dell- Kiosk and worked right next to the HerStyler kiosk at the mall, and I have had my green colored straightener for a little over a year now = LOVE IT. My only rec. is to not turn the heat ALL the way up, i usually do it at about 75% cause it gets SO hot! The curls look great too :-) it’s a good buy dont worry! At first I thought he was victim to the kiosk people, but crazy enough it is a really good flat iron!!
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8 Courtney July 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Oh YAY! That’s so good to know, haha. Thanks, Amanda! :)

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9 Antonia July 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Courtney,

I bought the Herstyler too, but from Crossgates Mall, about two years ago. A few months in, my Herstyler broke and I returned it to the same kiosk (with the receipt!) and exchanged it for a new one at no cost. This happened a few more times and each time I took my original receipt back and then kept giving me a replacement one for free. Moral of the story is: keep your original receipt! If something breaks on it or it stops working, you can exchange it for a free replacement at no cost as long as its within a year of the date on the receipt.

By the way, I’m so jealous of your Cheesecake Factory trip. :)

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10 Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries July 27, 2012 at 3:38 pm

I LOVE the Cheesecake Factory’s Chopped Salad. It’s easily one of my favorite things to eat there. Good choice! ;)
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11 Rachel July 27, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Cheesecake factory has the best bread! haha I’m always in heaven when I get it haha
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12 Sana July 27, 2012 at 3:45 pm

The kiosk people scare me, but I am glad you had your mom with you to make sure it was a good deal!

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13 Angela July 27, 2012 at 3:45 pm

I just visited the Cheesecake Factory this week, too! I tried their promoted cheesecake, the Hershey’s one, because I’m a chocoholic, and it was by far one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. Like you said, when in Rome!

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14 krystal@coffeecardiogoddess July 27, 2012 at 3:56 pm

I went to cheesecake factory for my bday this past sunday! White chocolate macademia nut cheesecake! Yum! Skinnylicious salmon and strawberry martini are must try’s!!
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15 Chelcie of Chelcie's Food Files July 27, 2012 at 4:05 pm

i need to buy a new good hair straightner! i’ve been lazy this summer and mainly just wearing my hair wavy but it is such a good investment to have a good hair straightner!
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16 Nicole July 27, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Yay for road trips! Have you ever been to Newport, RI? It’s one of my fave places around and only 3 hrs from Albany! My hubby and I go every year for the Food and Wine Festival and also try to go each spring – it’s just so much fun!

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17 Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles July 27, 2012 at 4:10 pm

It’s probably been five years since I’ve been to The Cheesecake Factory- it was so stinking delicious the last time I was there—- good heavens that cheesecake! Mmmmm!
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18 Alysha @Shesontherun July 27, 2012 at 4:20 pm

I’m in heaven over that dessert. Holy cow! BTW, is there a curling iron you have that you like? I just bought a newer revlon and it disappoints me to no end :(
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19 Trisha July 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm

My two cents, Alysha, as I grew up in a hairdresser’s home. :) I would highly suggest Hot Tools. They’re definitely more expensive & you’ll probably have to buy one from a salon but they are worth it.
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20 Alysha @Shesontherun July 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Thanks so much for the suggestion! I know they sell Hot Tools at Ulta. So I think I’m going to break down and buy one.
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21 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More July 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm

It’s been LONG time since I’ve eaten at Cheesecake factory but I DO remember that bread. Holy yum!
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22 Jessie July 28, 2012 at 9:33 am

I think it’s impossible to forget that bread. So friggen good!
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23 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles July 27, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Going out for Mexican for an anniversary dinner date tonight…super excited!

If you show me anything purple, I’ll be all over that instantly. Such a consumer. :-)
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24 Kristen @ notsodomesticated July 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Love love love the cheesecake at Cheesecake Factory! You’re making me want to change our “date night” plans for tomorrow and go there instead!!

We’re planning on doing some boring house things for most of tomorrow, followed by a much-needed date night! :)

Have a great weekend, Courtney!
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25 Katherine @ The Fit Lady Sings July 27, 2012 at 4:48 pm

I work part time at a store in my mall, and whenever I pass by the HerStyler kiosk, they always, always, always try to get me to come over, even after knowing that I work there! But I have heard great things about their products, so whenever my Chi poops out, I’ll indulge them and stop by :)
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26 Vanessa July 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm

you should definitely come to Rhode Island… so many good restaurants..

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27 Allison @ Running Through Red Lights July 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I’ve only been to the Cheesecake Factory once–I was so overwhelmed by all of the menu choices! I wish I would have known about this salad, because it looks amazing!

Enjoy your out-of-state trip–spur of the moment plans are the best! My husband and I are running a 5K with some friends tomorrow, and then we’re headed to my parents’ house for a last-minute end-of-summer weekend away!
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28 Melissa @ runscootsrun.blogspot.com July 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I love the darker bread too…so delicious! Their salads are good too. Yay for discounts!…it was meant to be today, lol. :) Hope you have a fun night with your friends and a nice weekend road-trip!
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29 Trisha July 27, 2012 at 5:04 pm

You know, I’ve been reading your blog for awhile & I’m always thinking that we have so much in common. From marrying the men we started dating in our teens to the relationship you have with your family & friends.
This post was totally something I could have written. I love shopping & lunching with my mom. We both pretend we’re sending a really important text when walking past those kiosks. My mom is also a hairdresser. If I ever stopped at the flat iron place at our mall & found out that I could get one in purple, I’d be sold too. :)
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30 Min July 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I seriously go to Cheesecake Factory just for that bread!! I even ask them to pack me some to-go every time! The hubby always gets embarrassed, but I got no shame ;). I got a flat iron too, and I’ve been trying to curl my hair in hopes of getting that natural wave. My hair is ridiculously straight and sticks straight to my face like seaweed. I’ve tried Julie’s and other youtube girls’ methods, but my hair is hopeless. It just ends up looking fried…Good luck to you! If you figure out some cool tricks, let us know!!
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31 Katy July 27, 2012 at 7:11 pm

That cheesecake looks incredible! I haven’t been to Cheesecake Factory is way too long. They have amazing salads and of course very decadent desserts!
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32 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake July 27, 2012 at 7:21 pm

I always dominate the brown loaf of bread when my husband & I go to the Cheesecake Factory; it’s the best!
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33 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey July 27, 2012 at 7:49 pm

LOVE cheesecake factory! They’re super GF friendly and really try to accommodate. I was just there last week!
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34 Lydia July 27, 2012 at 8:27 pm

OMG I hate those mall kisoks!! But looks like you got a great deal!!
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35 Liz @ Tip Top Shape July 27, 2012 at 9:29 pm

That bread at Cheesecake Factory is the best!! I go there all the time with my grandparents, and we always end up getting seconds of that. Next time you’re there, try the pulled pork sandwich. It is ah-mazing!!
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36 Kim@hungryhealthygirl July 27, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Your lunch looks absolutely perfect! I love that brown bread too.
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37 Maddy July 27, 2012 at 10:57 pm

I have that exact flat iron and LOVE IT! It’s the only flat iron I’ll use now, even though I’ve tried many others. I’ve had it for about 2 years now. It’s also that only hot tool that can curl my hair without the curls falling out later in the day. I can literally brush my hair through the curls and they stay perfectly! Hope you like it :)

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38 Khushboo July 27, 2012 at 11:43 pm

Goingto Cheesecake Factory and not ordering cheesecake is just wrong…glad you didn’t go down that road ;)
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39 Brandi July 28, 2012 at 10:14 am

Holy cow that cheesecake looks amazing!

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40 Jennifer @ Healthy Wifestyles July 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Omg Courtney! I was there last night and was oh so close to snagging the purple HerStyler after getting my hair straightened, curled, then curled with extensions! I’m glad I didn’t grab it though since the special they offered me was $125 and you snagged it for $110. Too funny :)
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41 Lisa July 28, 2012 at 3:56 pm

That salad does look super delicious! Yum.
I’ve actually never had cheesecake factory before! Looks good though.
I have that flat iron as well. My sisters a hair dresser so I always have to get the down low from her. Its not my favourite for straightening, but I like it for curling my hair.
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42 Bek @ Crave July 28, 2012 at 6:33 pm

That cheesecake looks amazing! Drooling! Keep us updates with the flat iron! Good bargaining skills ;)
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43 Divya @ Eat.Teach.Blog. July 29, 2012 at 3:31 am

Reason #2 for loving a chopped salad: You’ll never take a big bite out of your salad and have a piece of lettuce unattractively hanging out of your mouth.
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44 Mollie @Sprinkles of Life July 30, 2012 at 10:59 am

I got a new straightener this weekend, too! And it’s purple!!!
I’ve used the Her Styler brand before. I liked it but did have trouble with the cord wiring shorting out. But it works great :)
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